Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 23 October 2014

Tele Recommends: Northern Ireland's best country music venues

We've consulted the experts to bring you the best Northern Ireland has to offer - the places, the food, the music, the craic.

Country star Nathan Carter on stage in the Tullyglass Hotel

Big T (aka Trevor Campbell) hosts four country music shows per week on Downtown Radio (Mon-Thurs 7pm-10pm) and has been a major figure on the country music scene in Northern Ireland since the 1970s.

What is Tele Recommends?

Asked to name Northern Ireland's five best country music venues, he recommends...

Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival

Every February

A specialist music fest that is dedicated purely to the craft of songwriting has got to be worth celebrating hasn't it? Musicians certainly think so which is why everyone from American legends like Nanci Griffith and much-loved acts like Donovan roll into town every year to lend it their support. It hs proved a great launching pad for local talent like Gareth Dunlop. Low key but lovingly curated it's well worth checking out.

www.belfastnashville.com

Country music venues

Recommended by Big T (aka Trevor Campbell)

The Ramble Inn, Antrim

One of the smaller venues which you'll pass on the main road from Antrim to Ballymena, The Ramble Inn has only being hosting regular country music nights for the past year but their reputation has swiftly grown. They've hosted lots of really strong local acts and are going from strength to strength.

www.mclarnonsrambleinn.com

The Ryandale, Moy

Situated between Armagh and Dungannon, this venue is well-established as one of the leading country music venues in the north. Hosting big acts like Derek Ryan and Nathan Carter, their Saturday night gigs are some of the busiest and best around.

www.theryandale.com

Mourne Country Hotel, Newry

The reputation of the Mourne Country Hotel has been growing in recent years and their big Saturday night gigs are drawing crowds from both sides of the border.

www.mournecountryhotel.co.uk

Tullyglass Hotel, Ballymena

I've compered events at the Tullyglass and they are well set up for big events such as the recent Hot Country Awards which played host to 30 of the most established and up-and-coming acts in the industry.

www.tullyglass.com

Mellon Country Inn, near Omagh

On the road from Omagh to Newtownstewart, you'll find the Mellon Country Inn. Friday is the big night for country music here and they have a jam-packed schedule of events coming up. Jayco Entertainment runs the roster of gigs here and in many of the leading venues – they really are the best in the business.

www.melloncountryhotel.com

Disagree with these choices?

Give us your view by leaving a comment below...

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